Fernando Rojas reports for El Deber:
They announce proceedings against illegal seizure of land people that divert river
Searpi warns about the irregular channel built, that could flood 70,000 to 100,000 ha of the productive land of the boundary between Santistevan and Guarayos.
Service Water Channeling Regularisation and Pirai River (Searpi), the technical arm of the Santa Cruz Governoprate, and State Forest and Land Authority (ABT) separately announced proceedings against the leaders of the illegal take over group accused of the irregular diversion of a channel of more than one kilometer on the Rio Grande in El Guineal, border between the provinces of Santistevan and Guarayos.
The measure was announced by the director of Searpi, Luis Aguilera, after a meeting with representatives of the ABT and the Eastern Agricultural Chamber (CAO).
Aguilera claimed that the grabbers raided inside public land -ecological protected area along the side of the river- and proceeded to attack the defense [gabions] that, if broken, are threatening flooding between 70,000 and 100,000 hectares and compromising the lives of the residents of communities living on the banks of the Rio Grande on the border of the province Guarayos.
For Aguilera we are facing an environmental crime that affects the interests of the three levels of government because the State, the Governorate and the municipalities that are part of the influence area, they all have allocated resources to build defensive [gabions] and protect productive land.
For the president of the CAO, Julio Roda behind the grabbers are people who have financed the construction of the channel, calculating, required an investment of about $300,000 dollars.
In this context, Roda said that as productive organization formalized a request to the Interior Minister Carlos Romero, and the Minister of Rural Development and Land, César Cocarico, to activate a plan leading to the arrest of the leaders and seize the equipment used to open the channel.
For Alejandro Diaz, no one is above the law to change river courses without being certified by competent bodies. “Crime is rampant and must act soon.”
There is no land titling
From La Paz, the national director of INRA, Cesar Gomez, he said that according to initial reports received, there is no consolidation process underway in the specific area where it has identified the people’s occupation. “Unofficially, it is known that there is a process that is ventilated in the Agro-environmental Court,” he said.
INRA to check the area.